from 'THE JEWEL OF PARADOX:
I shoulder my backpack and creep out into the dawning light. Absolute
stillness. No one to be seen as I leave the gathering of huts and walk
across the open space to the ramp way, hunching to myself against being
seen, hoping none of the ubus in their pen don't raise a cry. I look around
again. Still no one. All feels strangely suspended, breathless.
I steel myself at the sight of the steep pitch of the back and forth path
then climb a few near-vertical steps to the left, clawing my way up with
my hands and feet on the narrow ledge. I turn nearly round on myself,
and struggle more paces upward to the right, continuing my tortuous zig-zag
up the Valley's wall. Yet, with each step I'm relieved, like a deep-sea
diver shedding the pressures of the deeps.
At a slight broadening of the ledge, about midway up the climb, I stop
to rest. A little concave has been scraped out. I sit and lean my back
against it. Half way up and half way down. Sitting between the night's
dark still filling the Valley and the day's light edging down from above.
Between two worlds, between two minds. Not in one world or the other.
There's movement below, people leaving their huts to gather round the
bottom of the ramp way. They clasp their hands to their hearts as they
chant the verses I heard in the Temple in the Inch-Square Kingdom. I recognize
"Oh, Jewel of Paradox,
praise be, praise be.
In you is summoned and solved
All that is or could be."
This is their parting gift to me, a remembrance.
I return the gesture of leave-taking to them below. I laugh to myself
with some perverse pleasure that, at last, I did make a decision. Energized
and enthusiastic, I rise to continue my climb.
The enclosing circle of the stone above me expands. The sky looms huge,
filling the Valley, rim to rim, with peach and golden sunrise. It's cloudless,
flawless blue hypnotizes me. My eyes, previously captive to the Valley's
rim, now open to the infinite beyond. I feel less and less invaded, like
leaving the grips of a dizzying fever.
The slanting ledgeway above me ends, and I see the green of the prairie
grass, brightening in the sunlight. Below me, the Valley's floor is still
As I climb, I picture the black ribbon of road through the jungle to take
me back again. The rich, exotic colors, sounds and smells. The birds calling.
Yes, this is right, I feel deeply. Even though these steps seem like walking
away, I still go toward my destiny. Even now, I go towards it with love.
I step from last ledge way, and climb up onto the plain, free, grateful
at being released. Down in the Valley I see the Dreamer, distance dwarfed,
looking up at me with resignation. But, as I peer down into this crevice
-the shabby huts, the parched, raggedy fields, the others with their faces
turned up towards me in silence, all with the same peaceful resignation.ven
the majestic Tree, Center of the Cosmos -it all seems like a dream I've
been drugged into, the fuzzy memory of a memory.
The expanse of prairie around me opens and frees me. The enclosing oval
of the Valley below clutches at me, to grasp and pull me back down, into
the delusion. The two perspectives shift me back and forth, disorientating
me. But I cling to my resolve to leave and steady myself.
There was so much more I could have asked the Dreamer, I realize, so much
more he had to tell me. But it's done, I console myself. I clasp my hands
to my chest and open them again in leave-taking, wide, wide, poised and
savoring the moment with my eyes closed. I sigh and turn to retrace my
way to the jungle path.
The Dreamer is suddenly beside me. He shrugs and gives me his knowing
"So, Jason, this is the moment you've chosen," he says in his
"I only wanted to be certain..." I begin to self-justify, but
grow uncertain as his stance shifts, at the smile beaming from him face.
The guise is gone. It's the other part of him again, the Court Wizard
"Still looking for the guidebook for your life, eh, Jason? And surprised
that it is always a mystery." He chuckles lindheartedly.
I'm so startled to find him here, I almost topple backwards into the Valley.
I'm startled, too, by the change in his voice and manner. He's the Wizard
again, as he was in Balangpur. But no, not just him either. I sense the
Dreamer is here too. Somehow, they're both here now.
He grins and nods. He knows my bewilderment. "So this is how we come
to it. You have chosen the place and form of the Rites of Transmission,
but I still am the one to choose its contents." He teases me a little.
"This is the moment of Yu Yi, Extreme Unction, you would say. Both.
It is the anointing, and it is the transferance of the spirit, the mantle
of the Wizard."
His words fill me with terror. I realize he is beyond the opposites now.
And all this is beyond comprehension.
"Dreamer, you don't understand. When I met you there in Balangpur,
I knew I had to renounce my violent past, my viciousness. I swore, under
your influence, that I would never kill again. And especially now,"
I plead. "I couldn't. I can't."
"Because I'm the one who brought you to awaken to your secret, shadow
self you've always sought. That I'm the one you owe that gratitude to
makes this even more painful."
I hold what he says in my heart. It aches so with truth I want to cry.
"Yes, you're right," I answer, gasping.
"I am readied. And this response of yours shows your readiness,"
he explains. "It is to be done in fear and trembling."
"No, you misinterpret," I'm still pleading. "I'm running
away. I need clarity. And cleanliness." My voice chokes.
"That was the only way to bring you to this. By activating your deepest
conflict. Giving you complete freedom, you would thus have no choice."
He confides to me, his innocent smile, kind and tender. "Thus it
could engage all of you. And you had to be completely present to receive
the Transmission, both Jason and Yason. As I am present.
"Both the Wizard and the Dreamer are here. But I am neither and both.
I am from before they were. And I do not end when they do. I am the shimmering
light-being they both come from. This Self is my true 'I'. That's why
I can be with all this with such surrender."
He holds my gaze and my body unclenches. My breathing slows, turns into
a life-stream in and out of my being, linking my mind and heart and body
in peace-filled awareness. His look of absolute caring softens me right
"I am ready to go now," he tells me somberly. "You must
have your own way as Dreamer, and my being around would interfere. All
my life's purposes and gifts are complete. Now, all that remains, I pass
on to you, Oh, Dreamer, Yason," he says and bows as he reaches into
his Omen bag hanging at his waist. He removes and holds the Jewel of Paradox
before me, its aura shimmering as I'd seen it in the Temple. I look at
it, astonished. I'd thought it really was my fantasy, a private delusion.
But here it is, gorgeously radiant with its mystic power, in his hands.
And now I totaly realize that it is the source of the teachings, the powers
that he'd assured me would be mine. This Jewel is the portal to my quest's
goal and he, the Wizard and Dreamer, he is the teacher and guide I'd sought,
the one to awaken my soul from its dark and hidden place. His profound
teachings, the shamanic journeys, his gentle loving jibes, all were flashings
from this true Self. He has offered me all I could imagine. He knows the
way because, clearly, he has walked it. Yet here I am disappearing.
Why couldn't I trust him? Why couldn't I let it all unfold according to
his guidance? I'm stabbed by grief at the lost opportunity.
"I bequeath this to you," he says with compassion, as if to
reassure me that all is not lost after all. Reading my thoughts and feelings,
he smiles. Eyes on mine with the tenderness of a lover's, he crouches
low and utters a guttural sigh and flings the Jewel of Paradox at me.
My combat trained body reflexively dodges to one side to avoid it. In
silence he lunges toward me, to hug or to assault, I'm not sure. He lurches
over my outstretched leg and tumbles out over the edge.
As he hurtles past me to the Valley's floor below, he grins with raised
eyebrows and waves like a little child. "See you for after,"
he calls consolingly.
Somehow, as if he'd foretold my reflexive move as he threw it, or that
the Jewel itself tracks my maneuver, but, rather than avoiding it, my
lunge takes me right into its path. It finds and strikes my chest. Womp!
Like a ball of fire, it pierces and painlessly melds into the center of
With that, my whole reality transforms.
My psyche's walls and boundaries dissolve. I am Yason and Jason, Wizard
and Dreamer, Jesus and Judas. I am countless other selves and sub-selves
I've been over this lifetime, over many lifetimes. All awaken with that
merging and join. All together. All at once.
With the Jewel's miraculous mediation, all these selves, each and all,
with caring regard for each other, take their rightful places in the wholeness
of my being. In their entrancement with the splendor the Jewel, this multitude
move into patterns of alignment. Now, through devotion to this Splendor
at my Heart's core, even selves that had been unknown to each other or
even antagonistic, all are drawn into positions of support that affirm
each other's calling and need.
Yes, this is the state I've always yearned for. That long sought after
inner Switch has been found and thrown. Everything comes into its rightful
place in my universe. My Other and I are fused into not-two. All that
was fragmented is joined. What was lost is regained. My mind and my heart,
the shadow and the light, myself and Other, knight and dragon are all
joined, merged into a Reality that encompasses all the 'me's
I know and experience all these formerly separate and disparate selves
as aspects and facets of the True Me. My own "I AM". I Am center
and circumference of my world. The Shimmering at this center my being
is, with unquestionable certainty, my own, eternal Self. I've found the
Pearl of Great Price, the Golden Fleece, and reclaimed the kingdom of
In this moment of blissfully knowing who I truly am, my celebrating heart
I am all that I seek,
All that I seek, I am.
The form in the mirror
Now merges with mine,
My shadow and flesh join,
And I become not-two.
And Now is the Now I've awaited.
Now is Now crawls up my spine.
Now is Now opens my heart,
and my mind and my groin.
Now is Now!
In me two rivers meet,
Time and Eternity.
What had always been separate
now joins in common flow.
And all that I seek, I am,
I am all that I seek.
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Copyright Nathaniel Schwartz 2003